Saturday, January 17, 2009

Retrieve Data From Damaged Or Scratched Discs

Most of us back up data on discs.. Weather its cd or dvd, its fragile.. and not a least bit resistant to scratches..

Anatomy of scratches
There are two types of scratches, perpendicular and spiral.. Data from perpendicular scratched discs can be retrieved easily but the data from spiral discs can but a bit of a problem..

Attempt To Recover Data From Scratched Disc

In my personal opinion, CD Recovery Toolbox always comes out on top..
Just insert the damaged CD, DVD, HD DVD or Blue-Ray disc and the software will show you the list of files and folders found on the disc..

Choose the ones you want to recover and click next. This process can be real slow, so just be patient.. It can recovers files larger than 4 GB and even detects lack of free space on the designated storage hard drive..

The next best option would be Raodkil's Unstoppable Copier.. A similar software thats capable of recovering data from damaged or scratched discs.. [DUH!!]

If the recovery is taking too long you also have an option to pause, save and resume sessions at some other time.. Convenient huh?
And of course the above two were for windows only..

And if you are a Linux user.. you stil can recover data.. try using DDrescue.. Its a command line tools offering plenty of options, check out the image below..

And if all fails.. there are a few do-it-yourself solutions:

You can try to repair those scratched discs to make them playable again.. The best way to do this is to use a whitening toothpaste or some polish [specially those used by opticians] although Brasso also works fine..

1> Clean the surface of the disc with a soft lint-free cloth.. You can also use a gentle detergent [or rubbing alcohol] if there are some grease spots.. Make sure there are no finger prints or dust particles and be sure not to scrub too hard as you may do more harm than good..

2> Now apply some toothpaste or polish on the scratched surface.. It is best to start with a minimum amount of either, or you will have your work really hard to buff away the remainder..

3> Now rub gently with a cloth moving from the center outwards..

If you have done a good job with it.. you will see the scratches diminishing or if it was a minor scratch it will totally be wiped out[literally].. This is a hit and miss process so the results may vary..

Few Tips:

1> Try recovery in a CD/DVD writer as opposed to a reader.. Writers are generally more precise and can see the tracks better..
2> If possible try recovery on the same drive that was used to create the disc.. Chances of a good read have been found to increase if you use the same drive or at least the same manufacturer..
3> If nothing helps you can go to music stores and show them your disc. Such stores usually have a CD refinishing machine and may be able to do a better job..
4> Buy good quality media..

And after all this if nothing helps.. use it as a coaster.. Cheers!!

Note: Try these remedies at your own risk


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